U.S. stocks were higher in early afternoon trading on Friday, with the S&P and Dow on track to eke out their first weekly gains in five weeks as technology and financial stocks rose.The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index was up 1.13 percent and was on track to end five straight weeks of losses boosted by gains in Microsoft and Apple The S&P financial sector index rose 0.91 percent as a flurry of comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials, suggested a possibility of an interest rate hike as early as June.
The index has risen about 2 percent since the Fed released minutes of its April meeting on Wednesday.New York Fed President William Dudley said on Thursday the U.S. economy was strong enough to warrant a rate hike in June or July.“The markets are re-dialing from the sell-off, and I would say it is doing so more on the absence of any incremental bad news from the Fed,” said James Abate, chief investment officer as Centre Asset Management in New York.
“I think on technology a lot of that was driven by the positive news that came out of Applied Materials, which is essentially being a spark for the rally,”Chip industry bellwether Applied Materials was the biggest gainer on the S&P information technology sector after its higher-than-expected forecast.
The benchmark S&P 500 index has fallen 4.4 percent up to Thursday’s close, since hitting a record high on May 21, 2015.At 12:25 p.m. ET (1625 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 105.47 points, or 0.6 percent, at 17,540.87, the S&P 500 was up 15.47 points, or 0.76 percent, at 2,055.51 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 64.50 points, or 1.37 percent, at 4,777.03.
The gains were broad based with eight of the 10 major S&P sectors trading higher.Data on Friday showed existing home sales in the United States rose more than expected in April, marking the second straight month of increase.InterOil jumped 39 percent to $44.10 after Oil Search agreed to buy the company for $2.2 billion.Deere & Co’s shares fell 4.9 percent to $78.25 after the farm equipment maker cut its full-year profit outlook.Campbell Soup was down 6.4 percent at $59.83 after the company reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,345 to 602. On the Nasdaq, 2,167 issues rose and 518 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 12 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 29 new highs and 22 new lows.
RNC Spending More than $50 Million on Convention Security
The Republican National Committee will spend more than $50 million for security at this summer\\\'s convention in Cleveland and will be prepared \\\"for all contingencies,\\\" Chairman Reince Priebus said Monday. \\\"You know it sounds like a lot, but 2,400-2,500 delegates, is not that many people,\\\" Priebus said in a \\\"CBS This Morning\\\" interview. \\\"Most state chairmen in this country have conventions that are even larger than that, so we\\\'ll be prepared, it\\\'ll be fine and I guarantee you we\\\'ll have a good time and it\\\'ll be a fun convention in Cleveland.\\\"And even though there is a great deal of division in the party, Priebus admitted that it will not be possible to please everyone, promised the party will unify when a nominee is selected. The RNC chairman also addressed reports of increased violence at front-runner Donald Trump\\\'s rallies, and said there is \\\"plenty of blame\\\" to go around, commenting that such issues need to be denounced by party leaders on both sides.
Priebus also blamed the media for part of the problem, saying the violent episodes are \\\"on a constant loop. They find an altercation and they play it and it\\\'s 24/7, they preempt everything else, everyone\\\'s kicked off the air for hours and hours so that we can keep talk about you know, a couple of knuckleheads swinging at each other.\\\"
Priebus further said he does not consider Trump\\\'s comment that there would be \\\"riots\\\" if he doesn\\\'t get the nomination in Cleveland in July, but the party will still be prepared with enough security to handle any situation.
The chairman also would not say on the program if he denounces language Trump has used concerning Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, or if the words he uses are unpresidential.
Yemen Peace Talks Struggle As Air Strikes Shake Truce
Yemen’s Houthi movement accused a Saudi-led coalition of launching air strikes that killed seven people on Sunday, shaking a truce that has largely held through more than two weeks of U.N.-backed peace talks in Kuwait.The Iran-allied Houthis and Yemen’s Saudi-backed exiled government are trying to broker a peace through the talks in Kuwait and ease a humanitarian crisis in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country.The year-long conflict has drawn in regional powers and killed at least 6,200 people, according to the United Nations.“The aggressor’s planes bombed various districts in the Nehm district, leading to the death of seven martyrs and wounding three,” the Houthis said in a statement.
Political sources from the Houthi group’s rivals in Yemen’s government say the bombing in the Nehm area east of the capital Sanaa was directed at Houthi forces that were massing in the area in violation of a ceasefire that began on April 10.A spokesman for the mostly Gulf Arab military coalition did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
As part of the peace talks, representatives of Yemen’s warring sides formed joint political and security committees last week but have made little progress toward a full ceasefire or political transition plan.In a further setback to talks after Sunday’s events, Houthi representatives refused to attend a meeting with U.N. Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, a statement from the office of Yemen’s prime minister said.
The meetings of the joint committees have as a result been indefinitely postponed, pan-Arab al Arabiya television reported.A civil war in Yemen escalated when an armed push by the Houthis pushed the government into exile on March 26 last year.Seeing the Shi’ite Muslim group as a proxy for its Gulf rival Iran, Saudi Arabia mustered an alliance of mostly Gulf Arab countries to push the group back. But the coalition still appears far from forcing the Houthis out of Sanaa.If confirmed, the air attack would be the deadliest single incident since the ceasefire began.
Myanmar ruling party names Suu Kyis aide as presidential candidate
Nay Pyi Taw: Myanmar\\\'s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party on Thursday nominated Htin Kyaw, Aung San Suu Kyi\\\'s close aide, as presidential candidate for the country\\\'s lower house.The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which was crushed in last November’s general elections, also put forward a candidate although the current ruling party now only holds a handful of seats, The Myanmar Times reported.
Sai Mauk Kham, the current vice president, was nominated as the party’s lower house candidate, and U Khin Aung Myint, former speaker of the upper house, is expected to be named as its upper house candidate.However, the two chambers will have to vote separately to select one candidate each.
Parliament’s bloc of appointed military MPs do not take part in those votes.
Under the constitution, the military submits the name of its candidate directly to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the combined sitting of the two chambers which then votes to choose the president, first vice president and second vice president.Suu Kyi is barred from top political office by a military-drafted constitution.That vote is expected next week. Incumbent President U Thein Sein’s five-year term ends on March 30.
Studies Find ‘Super Bacteria’ In Rio’s Olympic Venues, Top Beaches
Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start on Aug. 5.The findings from two unpublished academic studies seen by Reuters concern Rio’s most popular spots for tourists and greatly increase the areas known to be infected by the microbes normally found only in hospitals.They also heighten concerns that Rio’s sewage-infested waterways are unsafe.A study published in late 2014 had shown the presence of the super bacteria – classified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an urgent public health threat – off one of the beaches in Guanabara Bay, where sailing and wind-surfing events will be held during the Games.The first of the two new studies, reviewed in September by scientists at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Diego, showed the presence of the microbes at five of Rio’s showcase beaches, including the ocean-front Copacabana, where open-water and triathlon swimming will take place.The other four were Ipanema, Leblon, Botafogo and Flamengo.The super bacteria can cause hard-to-treat urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and bloodstream infections, along with meningitis. The CDC says studies show that these bacteria contribute to death in up to half of patients infected.
The second new study, by the Brazilian federal government’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation lab, which will be published next month by the American Society for Microbiology, found the genes of super bacteria in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in the heart of Rio and in a river that empties into Guanabara Bay.Waste from countless hospitals, in addition to hundreds of thousands of households, pours into storm drains, rivers and streams crisscrossing Rio, allowing the super bacteria to spread outside the city’s hospitals in recent years.Renata Picao, a professor at Rio’s federal university and lead researcher of the first study, said the contamination of Rio’s famous beaches was the result of a lack of basic sanitation in the metropolitan area of 12 million people.
“These bacteria should not be present in these waters. They should not be present in the sea,” said Picao from her lab in northern Rio, itself enveloped by stench from Guanabara Bay.Cleaning the city’s waterways was meant to be one of the Games’ greatest legacies and a high-profile promise in the official 2009 bid document Rio used to win the right to host South America’s first Olympics.
That goal has instead transformed into an embarrassing failure, with athletes lamenting the stench of sewage and complaining about debris that bangs into and clings to boats in Guanabara Bay, potential hazards for a fair competition.Picao’s study, which has undergone internal reviews at Rio’s federal university, analyzed water samples taken between September 2013 and September 2014. Using 10 samples taken at five beach locations, the study found super bacteria were most present at Botafogo beach, where all samples were positive.Flamengo beach, where spectators will gather to watch Olympic sailors vie for medals, had the super bacteria in 90 percent of samples. Ten percent of Copacabana’s samples had the microbes.Ipanema and Leblon beaches, the most popular with tourists, had samples that tested positive for super bacteria 50 and 60 percent of the time, respectively.The Oswaldo Cruz study of the Olympic lagoon, which was peer reviewed, is based on water samples taken in 2013. It found that the lake is a potential breeding ground for super bacteria and their spread through the city.
While the studies both use water samples that are from 2013 and 2014, Picao and other experts said they had seen no advances in sewerage infrastructure in Rio to improve the situation.Valerie Harwood, an expert in recreational water contamination and antibiotic-resistant bacteria at the University of South Florida who was not involved in the studies, said that if anything, things were getting worse, as the super bacteria naturally spread by infecting other microbes.
The contamination has prompted federal police and prosecutors to investigate whether Rio’s water utility Cedae is committing environmental crimes by lying about how much sewage it treats. Investigators are also looking into where billions of dollars in funds went since the early 1990s, money earmarked to improve sewage services and clean Guanabara Bay.Cedae has denied any wrongdoing. It said in an emailed statement that any super bacteria found at the beaches or the Olympic lagoon must be the result of illegal dumping into storm drains. Cedae said it carries out sewage treatment and collection in the entire “south zone” of Rio, where the bodies of water are located and where the water samples were taken.
Five scientists consulted by Reuters said the immediate risk to people’s health when faced with super bacteria infection depends on the state of their immune systems.These bacteria are opportunistic microbes that can enter the body, lie dormant, then attack at a later date when a healthy person may fall ill for another reason.Super bacteria infect not only humans but also otherwise-harmless bacteria present in the waters, turning them into antibiotic-resistant germs.
Harwood said the super bacteria genes discovered in the Olympic lagoon were probably not harmful if swallowed by themselves: they need to be cocooned inside of a bacterium.“Those genes are like candy. They are organic molecules and they’ll be eaten up by other bacteria, other organisms,” Harwood said. “That’s where the danger is – if a person then ingests that infected organism – because it will make it through their gastrointestinal tract and potentially make someone ill.”The presence of the super bacteria genes in the lagoon indicates the bacteria themselves had recently died or simply were not detected by testing, Harwood said.
Health experts say Rio’s poor wastewater management has already created endemic illnesses associated with sewage that disproportionately impact the city’s poor, including gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, Hepatitis A and severe heart and brain conditions.Rio’s Olympic organizing committee referred questions on water quality to state authorities.Rio state’s Inea environmental agency said in an emailed statement it follows the World Health Organization’s recommendations for testing recreational water safety, and that searching for super bacteria is not included in that. It also said there was a lack of studies about the bacteria in water and health outcomes.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.